Uncharted Waters II Special Edition

Artist Credits

  • Yoko Kanno (composition, arrangement)
  • A.T. Gouppe (performance)
  • Chikeiko Sougetsu (vocals)

Tracks

69 minutes total
  1. Opening (Opening ~ Endless Journey)
  2. Echoes Of The Middle Age
  3. Olive Wind
  4. Southern Twilight ~ Dance On A Cape Of Good Hope
  5. Ending ~Seven Seas~ (Toward The Seven Seas)
  6. Wind Ahead
  7. Caprice For Lute
  8. Catalina (Catalina's Theme)
  9. The Mahout (Indian Elephant Trainer)
  10. Moslem Dance (Islam Dance)
  11. Empty Eyes (Emerald Sea)
  12. Land Of Luxury
  13. Mast In The Mist (Misty Port)
  14. The Chase
  15. Interlude (Interlude: Theme Of The Royal Palace)
  16. Fiddler's Green (Sailors' Pub)
  17. Close To Home
  • Released Mar 25, 1994 by Koei (catalog no. KECH-1061, retail 2600 yen).

Reviews

A new favorite from a musical genius.

Reader review by Kevin Murphy

One of my main complaints about living in the U.S. and collecting game music is that it is so expensive and it is really easy to get burned. However, when you do find something that is good, it is normally more than good - it is a treasure that you keep with you forever. Uncharted Waters II Special Edition is not only a treasure, but a gold mine.

That's not to say this arrangement of UW I and II is perfect. The first five tracks were recorded in 1990, and the other tracks were recorded in 1992. The first track sounds grand, and it really is okay, but something just doesn't want me to fall in love with it. That's not really a problem though, because the best songs on this CD are some of the best songs I have ever heard. "Olive Wind" starts off with a great acoustic guitar with some very light percussion with some unexpected chord changes. There is a sense of urgency to this song that accompanies no other on the CD.

My personal favorite on the whole CD is "Fiddler's Green". This song sounds like something you'd hear in a coffee house, but it is *fun*. The violin playing is like nothing I have ever heard before (especially at the end where the violinist just scrapes the bow along the strings for a very raw sound that fits in perfectly).

The album has a mix of light music, some sounding new age and others sounding ethnic. Don't let that hold you back, as this music will grow on you fast. Someone actually dubbed me a copy and I liked it so much that I had to buy it. It's *that* good. Much better than anything Ms. Kanno ever wrote for Macross, in my opinion.

One thing I don't like about most of us (game music fans) is that we are highly reluctant to buy a CD from a game we have never played and that doesn't have a reputation among us (i.e. Ys, Final Fantasy V). Well, having never touched an Uncharted Waters game, I can say this is one CD any game music fan should buy, whether they've played the games or not. Music like this should not be missed.

A versatile and powerful collection of arrangements.

Reader review by Adam Page

Despite the fact that this disc contains music from a game series I've never played, Uncharted Waters II Special Edition is one of my more recent favorites. It all started when I heard track 7 on Orchestral Game Music Concert 4 for the first time. I was so taken by the medley that I immediately became interested in the music of the series and ordered this disc on faith alone. Faith was kind to me.

The CD contains music from both Uncharted Waters I and II. All the tracks are arranged (live instrumental) and two have vocals. The songs cover a wide gamut of styles including classical, Baroque, acoustic soft rock, jazz, ethnic/world, and new age piano. Both of the vocal tracks are very well done (except for the wonky lyrics on "Empty Eyes") and all the musicians are quite talented. The composer, Yoko Kanno, appears to be to Koei what Nobuo Uematsu is to Square... a prodigy - talented, versatile, and reliable. As well as Koei game soundtracks, Kanno also created the fantastic score for the anime Macross Plus.

If anyone out there has played the games and winds up getting this disc, please e-mail me. I'd love to get your take on how it compares to the original sound version. Buyers of this disc should keep an open mind and try to embrace the somewhat milder styles that are represented - strict listeners of power-rock should probably steer clear.

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